Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker, the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes and Time magazines James Poniewozik all turned down the L.A. Times television critic job that went this week to Carina Chocano, Nikki Finke writes in her Deadline Hollywood column in tomorrow's LA Weekly. The rejections became so numerous, Finke says, that TV editor Jonathan Taylor would begin interviews by asking candidates if they might actually accept the job if it were offered. The sticking point for many was the move to Los Angeles, she reports.
"The upshot was that it was an attractive job in theory, Poniewozik recalls, but I didnt want to move to L.A."
Finke says the Chocano hiring to replace Howard Rosenberg has raised a lot of "who's she?" eyebrows in Hollywood. Tucker was the first choice of LAT features czar John Montorio, and used the interest to wangle an improved deal out of EW even though he had no intention of moving from Philadelphia, Finke writes. Tim Goodman, the San Francisco Chronicles TV critic, also got a better deal after the LAT came knocking.
The same thing happened when the New York Times was nosing around Hollywood for a new correspondent before hiring Sharon Waxman last week -- Finke says that the LAT's Michael Cieply, Los Angeles magazine's Amy Wallace and the Wall Street Journal's Bruce Orwall "all used the NYTs feelers to feather their nests a bit more luxuriously."